Album Review

Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future

Beautiful in its honesty, this feels like a milestone record founded in maturity and grace.

Adrianne Lenker - Bright Future

Whether solo or with Big Thief, Adrianne Lenker’s reputation as a playful, heartfelt, sincere, and ethereally comforting writer precedes her. On ‘Bright Future’ however, a change is felt. Introspective from the start, ‘Real House’ opens with a raw look back on earlier life at a steady and measured pace. From here it’s clear there’s a specific purpose behind this record - a seriousness that hasn’t necessarily been harnessed before. While ‘Sadness As A Gift’ is a typical song from her, centred around positivity and perspective, from here onwards, the album goes down a path of contemplation starting with ‘Fool’; a pensive look at the different ways to live a life, while ‘Free Treasure’ is a slight reprieve, delicately touching on the simple joys of relationships, such as quietly sharing a cup of coffee or glass of wine. At the heart of the record, though, ‘Vampire Empire’, and ‘EVOL’ evocatively capture the push and pull of relationships, the internal conflicts that arise, and the highs and lows that lovers ultimately go through. Turning the page, ‘Candleflame’ and ‘Donut Seam’ then return to the simplicity of love - the yearning for someone when separated, and the easiness of relationships when they are working well - before ‘Ruined’ wraps the record up in a heartfelt expression of love and the struggle that comes from being vulnerable in the face of strong emotions.

While still retaining Adrianne’s natural charm and endearment, ‘Bright Future’ is a grounded look at the challenges that come from relationships, personal introspection, and ageing, but also ultimately the joy that comes in the simple moments with loved ones. It’s beautiful in its honesty, embellished by the appearances of friends such as Nick Hackim, Mat Davidson and Josefin Runsteen. For Adrianne - now ten years on from her debut solo album - this feels like a milestone record founded in maturity and grace; a testament to the relationships we all put work into, and the highs and lows of the intimacies we choose to commit to. Brave in its deeply honest expression, it’s a beautiful record that tactfully captures the often confusing and contradicting feelings when truly in love.

Tags: Adrianne Lenker, Reviews, Album Reviews

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